September 13, 2017 / 12:13 PM / a year ago

Skanska CEO to resign in 2018 after decade at the helm

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Skanska (SKAb.ST) Chief Executive Johan Karlstrom will step down in April 2018 after a decade at the helm of the Swedish construction company that built the bridge linking Sweden and Denmark and the Gherkin in London.

FILE PHOTO: Workers walk past a Skanska logo seen on a fence at a construction site In Warsaw, Poland June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

Skanska, whose biggest market is the United States, said on Wednesday it had initiated the work of appointing a new CEO and aimed to name Karlstrom’s successor by the end of this year.

Karlstrom, 61, said he would also resign from the Skanska board at its April annual shareholder meeting but would work as a senior adviser until the end of January 2019, the resignation date stipulated in his contract.

“There are many important issues that engage me, in society and in this business, but I have no current plans to take on a new operational role,” he told Reuters.

Karlstrom, who joined Skanska in 1983 and has been chief executive since 2008, said his decision to leave was not based on any disagreements with the board about strategy.

“We are entirely in agreement on the direction of the company,” he said. “I am confident the board will find a good successor.”

Skanska’s second-quarter profit fell as writedowns on its U.S. civil operations and British projects overshadowed a strong performance in the Nordic region and stable performance in other U.S. operations. Orders and sales growth both beat expectations.

Skanska shares were down 1 percent at 1042 GMT. They have fallen 16 percent this year, underperforming the broader Swedish market which has risen 6 percent so far in 2017 .OMXSPI.

Besides Sweden, Norway, Finland, the United States and Britain, Skanska also has operations in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by David Clarke

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